The Power of Imagination

Bill Abbate

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Can you imagine a world without imagination? Since you would need to imagine such a thing happening, that would take one serious imagination, wouldn't it! Imagination is one of the things that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. But just how important is it in life?

"What separates us from the animals? Our imaginations. And having friends with imaginations." Thomas Suddendorf

Let's begin this article by ensuring we are clear about the meaning of imagination. Its definition from the Oxford Dictionary is:

Imagination (noun) - the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

While imagination, dreams, and daydreams are not precisely the same thing, they do influence one another. Please bear with me, as I may occasionally use the terms interchangeably.

The case for imagination

Isn't it amazing how our minds work? Our minds have the capability of imagining and creating practically anything. Not just some things, but literally anything at all!

The imagination of some of us can create thoughts and things no man before us has dreamed. We even create complete fictional worlds such as Narnia and Oz that exist beyond the imagination of most until they are shared. Once shared, such a world can take on a whole new life in the mind of others.

"I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse." Walt Disney (1901-1966)

Look at what the imagination of Walt Disney created. His imaginary talking mouse and other characters were drawn and first shared with the world in 1928. From this simple character and Disney's imagination, he created a company with a revenue of $67 billion in 2021! All of this resulted from what started in his mind.

"Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." Walt Disney (1901-1966)

It took many others to capture Disney's imagination and build the company into what it is today, more than 55 years after his death. Imagination like that is contagious!

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney (1901-1966)

Personal application of imagination

Have you ever considered how much imagination has created what you do in the present? If you look, you will find it has influenced a large part of your life and has brought you to where you are now. Let me give an example.

After living abroad for much of my childhood, I remember dreaming about coming home to the United States. When I started working, I imagined moving from a laborer to an office job to eventually managing a small company. After that, I imagined moving up in a larger company.

"What you think you become, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you create." Adele Basheer

I imagined marrying my wife, and we dreamed of having a child. I later dreamed of becoming a vice president. Then I started imagining how it would be to become president. Toward the end of my career, I imagined retiring in my home state. Then I started imagining what it would be like to become a published author.

Every one of the above things I imagined or dreamed about came true! Did they always happen in my desired timeframe? No. But they did happen!

If I had not imagined them, how likely would they have occurred? While we can never know for sure, I would have had little or no aspiration to climb the ladder, become an author, or anything else without imagination or dreams. I imagine that would have made my life turn out very differently.

Had I not effectively shared my dreams and imagination with others, it would have hindered my leadership abilities. I doubt I would have ever run a large company without these abilities. When others catch what you imagine, it can change their lives as well as help your own, as it did with Disney.

"If you can dream it, you can do it." Walt Disney (1901-1966)

Final thoughts

"Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination." Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Have you ever imagined how things will be for you in the future? How about your present? Why not put your imagination to work and begin dreaming about such things.

Imagine what the next year and beyond will bring. There is an excellent likelihood what you dream and imagine will come into being.

Finally, why not Imagine you will live a great life. Imagine a life that is fulfilling, wonderful, filled with joy and happiness. Dream about how it will look down to the minutest detail.

Can you see it? Keep imagining it and watch it manifest before your eyes!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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